Tomorrow a new K-drama arrives in the Mon-Tues slot for SBS, taking over from the critically acclaimed and ratings winner Punch with Kim Rae Won and Jo Jae Hyun. If I have time and the mood for something serious kicks in I’ll probably do a marathon of Punch, I like my darker dramas in one sitting so the tension can build slowly like an anaconda squeeze. I am planning to check out Heard it Through the Grapevine which skews dark like Punch but has been described as a black comedy. In the hands of a lesser PD I might write off Grapevine as attempting something too big for its britches since black comedies are notoriously difficult to get right. For every Heathers type perfect balance there are a dozen neither dark nor comedy failures.
Grapevine is getting the most press for being the return to prime time for PD Ahn Pan Seok who has done cable the last few years with A Wife’s Credentials, The End of the World, and last year’s Secret Love Affair. This time the central plot isn’t adultery but is still set in the rich and rarified world where money can suck a soul dry. Go Ah Sung plays a whip smart but poor high school student who gets knocked up by rich boy Lee Joon, though theirs is an actual chemistry-filled romantic attraction that will be tested when she’s brought into his stifling rich family to give birth. Playing his parents are seasoned actors Yoo Joon Sang and Yoo Ho Jung while her parents are Jang Hyun Sang and Yoo Bok In. The ratings battle will be interesting to watch as it goes up against seemingly dead of arrival Blood and rising sageuk Shine or Go Crazy. Continue reading